Leading by example: Cole joins Luverne Police
Published 11:30 am Thursday, June 8, 2017
By: Shayla Terry
Quolettea Cole once had a dream of becoming a teacher. With love for youth in her heart, she chose a different path and has been hired with the Luverne Police Department as the station’s first African American, female officer.
Cole is a native of Troy, but her parents, Quincy and April Tillis, are from Crenshaw County.
“I grew up in a loving home,” she said. “I thought that being a teacher, you’re able to be around kids and show them something else that they haven’t seen or heard. I wanted to be a light to them, because every child doesn’t have that.”
Even though her career path has changed, Cole says her motive is the same.
“It’s the simple fact of showing kids, especially little girls, that you can be whatever you want to be,” she said. “I feel like I’m still fulfilling the same purpose of what I wanted out of life, which is to be something that little kids can look up to.”
Cole is the mother of two children, Ja’Mari, 7, and Jabori Jr., 6.
“She enjoys children,” Luverne police chief Mike Johnson said,” I think she can really help us with the juveniles, but there is a lot she brings to the table.”
Johnson interviewed Cole at the county level, where he was previously employed. When he had the opportunity to bring on another officer with the Luverne department, he says Cole was an immediate thought.
“I was impressed with her even then,” Johnson said. “I called her up, and she was still interested. She has a lot to learn. She still has the law, the academy, running and agility in front of her, but I believe in her. We all do.”
Cole joined the Army National Guard in 2013. After some of her battle buddies had spoken highly of the law enforcement field, she thought it could be a fit for her.
“ I would sit down and talk to them about the field,” she said. “I thought on the good and bad, but I think the commitment of wanting to help our country drove me along these same lines.”
Hopeful of a long career, Cole says she looks forward to learning every position and taking advantage of the opportunity she has been given.
“I want to go as far as I can with it, “she said. “I feel super privileged to be the first African American female. I want to make everyone that has given me the chance proud of me, especially my parents and my children. I want people to feel comfortable with me. When someone looks at me, I want them to see all of the great things they’ve every imagined a police officer to be.”
Cole has officially begun training with the Luverne Police Department.